Wording your wedding invitations isn’t as straight forward as you might first think. There is tons of wedding invitation etiquette constraints that prescribe what your invites should include and what should be left out. Here we focus on what not to include as part of your invitation wording.
Etiquette suggests that gift registry or wishing well information should never be included within the wording of your wedding invitation as it is considered rude. What is instead recommended is that bridal couples share their gift preferences with their parents, bridal party and close relatives who are then expected to share this information with all of the guests. However this may not necessarily be an effective way to ensure all guests are notified. What we recommend as more effective alternative is to opt for a separate Gift registry or wishing well card. This card can then be included with your invitation and can politely request that guests contribute to your wishing well or consider your gift registry list. The wording should be seen as a humble request as opposed to a demand. While most guests will buy you a wedding gift, remember that gifts are never to be expected and this should be made clear in how you choose to word your request.
Unlike other invitations where you may include a note to say ‘Beer, Wine and Spirits’ or ‘Finger Food Provided’ this is completely unnecessary and according to wedding invitation etiquette a big no-no for your formal invite. If this is something you want conveyed to your guests, perhaps consider having a reception card and detailing it here. However we recommend steering clear of discussing alcohol altogether but if your reception is specific you can include ‘Brunch Reception to be held at’. Or ‘Following the ceremony guests are invited to drinks and canapés’.
If you will be having an adults only soiree you need to find an alternate way to inform your guests, one that doesn’t involve the inclusion of this information within the wording of your wedding invite or on a separate card. Wedding etiquette deems the inclusion of such information as wholly inappropriate and rather should be information that is shared verbally by the bridal couple and their family. However in modern times we believe it to be acceptable to include this information on a separate reception enclosure card that is presented with the formal invitation. For bridal couples working to a strict budget ‘Adult Only Reception’ is much nicer wording than saying ‘No Children’ and could be included on the invite if sticking to your budget is far more important than following etiquette. In this instance we recommend bridal couples follow up the invitation with a phone call to any guests who may be offended or assumed that their children would be invited. Alternatively you might like to include a link to a wedding website. Having a wedding website is the perfect way to provide your guests with greater detail that would otherwise be impossible to include on the formal invitation.
When it comes time to writing out your wording it should be known that the line breaks on your invitation will act as the punctuation which means there is no need to try and include commas or full stops at the ends of sentences. Commas can however be used within sentences for example in between the date and time of the ceremony.
Leave out abbreviations, weddings are typically formal events which means they require the use of formal language. As part of wedding invitation wording etiquette, your invite should clearly spell out all words including ‘Road’ or ‘Street’ as opposed to ‘Rd’ or ‘St’.
Also, don’t feel that you have to write out both sets of parents names on your wedding invitation. Listing the names of all parents is used to convey that the parents are hosting (paying) for the wedding festivities. If only one set of parent’s is contributing you may feel like you are leaving the other parents out by not including them so a way to get around this is to instead write ‘Together with their Parents’. Listing your parents’ names doesn’t have to mean that they are paying you may simply want to honour them. Traditionally the bride’s parents would be listed as they were seen to be ‘giving away’ their daughter. This can however leave the groom’s parents feeling left out. Modern couples are now however choosing to ditch their parents’ names from the wording of their invitations if they in fact are hosting the wedding themselves. Which as couples tend to get married later in life appears to be the case more often than not. There are tons of wedding invitation wording samples that you can scroll through online which can guide you on how to best word your invites.
When it comes time to put together your wedding invitation wording, remember that something which might not offend you may offend others. So keep wedding invite etiquette at the forefront when writing out your invitations.